Thursday, December 31, 2009

Our Year in Review

Greetings from some of the "Goddesseses" from Goddesschess :) Isis, Michelle and yours truly, taken at Battery Park during our May, 2009 visit to New York for Goddesschess' 10th Anniversary!!! We're so gorgeous! Here is a look back at Goddesschess' 2009. Wow - going over it again in this format really brings it home. Every year since our founding, our goal has been to reach just a few more people and touch them in some chessly way. This year, we outdid ourselves! Happy New Year blessings to everyone, and here's a toast to you (sip sip sip). Ahhhh, that's good wine... 2009 saw us celebrating Goddesschess' 10th anniversary online -- May 6, 1999 saw the debut of our first website! We made our second visit to New York City - and that reminds me, I never did finish the travelogue of our anniversary visit. Well, I finally managed to restore internet connection to my old laptop upstairs, so perhaps I will take a turn tomorrow at finishing that article -- after I finish some touch-up painting of windows and complete the clean-up of the basement windows that Mr. Don started before he had to leave. Mr. Don and I were in New York from May 12 - 19, 2009, and we had a wonderful time! I blogged from New York on my little Acer netbook and published lots of photos. Isis and Michelle joined us a few days later, after Michelle finished her final exams at UNLV. We all got to see the Statue of Liberty up close and personal. We also visited the 9/11 building site, which was a beehive of reconstruction activity. We spent most of two afternoons exploring lower Manhattan, Wall Street and Battery Park. We visited the Met, the Brooklyn Museum, the Asia Institute and - my memory fails me. We took buses and the subway for the first time. We ate off street vendors' carts. The weather was great! Applejack's Diner is still the same, as is Joey's in the basement of the Da Vinci Hotel, and we had excellent meals at both places. I can't wait to get back to Manhattan. Here are links to various photos from our New York adventures: 2009 saw our largest financial commitment for sponsorships yet to various chess events. We started out the year sponsoring prizes for the chess femmes in the Hales Corners Chess Challenge IX in late April. We finished out the year sponsoring prizes for the chess femmes (including special prizes furnished by current Women's World Chess Champion GM Alexandra Kosteniuk) in October for the Hales Corners Chess Challenge X. Since 2007, Goddesschess has sponsored a special prize for the U.S. Women's Chess Championship, and we did so again this year in October, when the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis hosted the Championship for the very first time, and also sponsored the largest prize purse ever for the Women's Championship. Goddesschess' $500 prize this year was awarded to IM Anna Zatonskih after her outstanding performance in winning the Championship with 8.5/9, taking clear first. GM Susan Polgar once again agreed to select the winner of the Goddesschess prize. Normally, funding the prize of the U.S. Women's Championship is our largest financial commitment, but this year we went the extra mile and committed to assisting in obtaining the appearance of a WGM at the Montreal Open Chess Championships held in September, as well as sponsoring class prizes for the chess femmes who played in the Championship. We thus had the pleasure of meeting WGM Melia Salome of Georgia, who won the Women's Title and very nearly won the overall title. This was Salome's first trip to Canada. She fell in love with Montreal and Montreal (at least, the chess-playing part) fell in love with her! Since the event was held in Mr. Don's hometown, he was on-site during the entire event, filming video and taking lots of photographs, many of which were published here and the entire tournament captured in video and photos reported on at Goddesschess. All of us Goddesschess folks wish you and yours a healthy, happy, safe and prosperous 2010. The best is yet to come - that's our heartfelt belief.

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